Sesame Chicken is one of those “you know it’s wrong, but it’s so right” classic take out dishes. The snob in you says: It’s junk. It lacks sophistication. It’s not authentic.
You crave it.
it’s the perfect American Chinese dish. It’s sweet and crunchy. Salty with soy sauce and a little tiny bit exotic from the addition of a healthy dose of toasted sesame oil. The kid will eat it, but the truth is, you want it too.
It’s a pretty straightforward preparation, the key lies in getting the chicken chunks crispy so that they’ll stand up to the sauce – a trick accomplished by simply using a decent proportion of cornstarch in the breading.
Enjoy this sesame chicken with white rice, or as part of a make it yourself take out feast along with General Tso’s Chicken and Kung Pao Chicken.
Sesame ChickenCourse: MainCuisine: Chinese, AmericanDifficulty: Medium
A simple and delicious version of the classic Chinese American takeout Sesame Chicken.
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp water
1 cup AP Flour
¼ cup cornstarch
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
4 tbsp chicken stock
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp toasted sesame seed oil
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
1 tsp sesame seeds
- Marinade the Chicken
- In a non-reactive bowl, mix cornstarch and soy into a smooth batter.
- Cut chicken into 1-to-2-inch pieces, and add to the batter, tossing and massaging the mixture to coat the chicken completely.
- Allow the chicken to rest in the marinade at least 20 minutes .
- Bread and Fry The Chicken
- Set your fryer/frying setup to 375 degrees
- Mix the breading well in a covered container.
- Give the marinade-soaked chicken a good stir to recoat any pieces.
- Using a single hand (keeping a “wet” and a “dry” hand makes the process much easier and cleaner), drop a few pieces at a time into the breading mixture and cover, shaking vigorously to coat well.
- Remove the pieces with your “dry” hand.
- Set the breaded pieces on a sheet pan with a rack and continue to bread all of the remaining pieces.
- Put the sheet pan in the refrigerator, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the breading to hydrate .
- Fry at 375° until browned.
- Prepare the Sauce and Finish
- Add soy, rice vinegar, chicken stock, cayenne, honey, and sesame oil to a pan.
- Bring to a simmer.
- Mix water and cornstarch, and add to the sauce, whisking to combine well.
- Simmer until slightly thickened.
- To finish, briefly fry chicken for a second time to re-crisp and heat it through – about a minute – , and then toss well with sauce.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced green onion.
- Serve with steamed white rice.
Be sure to check out my other food project, The Weekly Menu!